Update: the Panther-Fibel crowdfunder has now ended. You can still pre-order the Panther-Fibel without the backer’s rewards below.

The Museum’s crowdfunding campaign to publish the first English translation of the Panther-Fibel has been successful.

Staff have used the time during lockdown to translate the 1944 Panther-Fibel, held in the Archive, from the original German. Now that the translation is complete, the Museum is looking to crowdfund the publication of the first English-language edition.

Curator David Willey said; “The Panther-Fibel is a fascinating historical document.

“It was originally produced as an engaging and easy to understand handbook for the wartime Panther tank crews. The Panther was a highly sophisticated machine in every respect and required considerable knowledge to keep it serviceable and to get the best out of it.

A cartoon image of a German Solider. The Solider sleeps, cuddling a panther. The words, Panther Punsch feature next to the soldier.
The Panther-Fibel is full of comic-book style cartoons.

“But commanders realised that young tank crews had little time to digest the thick, heavy-going technical manuals provided, so to overcome this, they sought to draw the interest of the troops with these light-hearted, well-illustrated and visually attractive handbooks.”

The new edition will be based on a high definition copy of the original ‘comic-book’ style document, with the English text carefully set over the German.

A cartoon showing a dozen cartoon characters taking up various tasks around a Panther tank. Above, the words Panther-Klinik.
This tongue-in-cheek image depicts the Panther being fixed in a "workshop".

Remarkably, even after translation, it has retained the rhyming verses and intended ‘wit’ of the authors.

“The document tells us a great deal about the reality of operating the vehicle itself, but also about the soldiers it was intended for.” added David.

The Tank Museum needs to secure at least 200 pre-orders of the publication, before 12 April 2021, to make a print run financially viable.

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